Extacy à la Tykwer | The Velvet Café

lola“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time”

Run Lola Run begins with a quote by TS Eliot. It’s a quote that I’ve seen around quite a bit, but so what? It fits. And what follows after it is certainly not like anything else I’ve ever seen on a screen.

This is a film in the genre “Life is full of choices and crossroads. Depending on decisions you make and pure luck (or lack of thereof) your life can take a lot of different courses. And here we explore them and show them to you.” It’s a genre I like quite a bit, as evident by my previous praise for Mr Nobody.

The story is simple and takes place in a 20 minute frame. Lola get’s a telephone call from her boyfriend Manni He’s calling her from a telephone booth and he’s in an emergency. He needs to get hold of 100 000 mark in a hurry to be delivered to his criminal boss. If not something “terrible” is going to happen. Lola tells him to wait where he is and starts running while trying to find up a way to get the money for him. The story is repeated three times, with slightly changed circumstances by chance and by choices with different outcomes as a result.

But it’s not the story that makes this movie truly original. It’s the style, which is a bit of crossover between a music video and a computer game, which turns out to be a lot better and more enjoyable than it sounds.

It might be the pumping, hypnotizing techno music in the background that causes it, but whatever the reason was: this movie left me so happy, so ecstatic, so energized and giggly that I don’t know what I possibly could write to convey the feeling.

I’ve never used any stronger drug than alcohol and coffee, but I figure that my experience resemble to what it’s like to be on a high of something very illegal.

I think I’ve fallen in love. How else could I explain that I couldn’t resist the urge to watch it a second time only a few days after my first viewing? Normally the idea to do so wouldn’t even cross my mind! As a matter of fact I rarely watch movies a second time, even not after several years, since my list of movies-I-want-to-see is so long anyway. I’ll never get through it before I die and considering how limited my time is, it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of it on repetition.

I didn’t only fall in love with Run Lola Run; I think I also am developing a crush on its creator, the German director Tom Tykwer. Earlier this year I watched his latest movie, 3, which is a somewhat unconventional love story about a ménage à trois – a middle aged couple who unknowing of each other have a love affair with someone outside of their marriage. What they don’t know is that they’re seeing the same man.

3 isn’t as energetic as Run Lola Run, but it’s stylish and beautifully made and with a little bit more fleshed out characters, which to be honest is something that Run Lola Run lacks. Not that it matters since it’s not that kind of movie.

It’s a lucky pill, but without the negative side effects.

Run Lola Run (Lola Rennt, Tom Tykwer, GE, 1998) My rating: 4,5/5

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